yorkshire terrier
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Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies live on average 14 to 16 years. Don't let the look of these feisty terriers fool you. While this popular breed is often pampered today, people used their ancestors to hunt rats.  Little dogs tend to live a lot longer than larger breeds. Big dogs age faster. 

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toy poodle
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Curly-haired poodles can be big or small. Most toy-sized ones live 14 to 16 years, and the larger standards live about 11 to 13. 

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maltese puppy
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This elegant breed, which has an average life span of 12 to 15 years, has been around for 28 centuries. Ancient Egyptians may have worshipped the dogs, and Greek and Roman philosophers wrote about them. With their long, silky white hair and gentle manner, it's hard to believe the Maltese, too, once hunted rats.

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miniature schnauzer
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Miniature Schnauzer

Just 12 to 14 inches tall, miniature Schnauzers are sturdy, muscular dogs that typically live 12 to 14 years. Because the breed tends to live long and love kids, it's a great pick for family pets. These dogs can be prone to pancreatitis caused by high levels of fat in their blood, so they may need a special diet.

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boston terrier
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Boston Terrier

These smart little show-offs love to play. Young at heart, they usually live about 14 years. They may reel you in with their large eyes, but those peepers need protection. They stick out from their face, making it easier for the sun, wind, and dust to harm them. The Boston Terrier Club of America suggests buying your dog a visor. 

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Shetland Sheepdog
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Shih Tzu

Almost unknown in the Western world until the 20th century, shih tzus were favorites of royalty in China’s Ming Dynasty. These hardy little charmers usually live 11 to 14 years. They don't have many health problems other than skin irritations. And because their eyes are prominent, they may be vulnerable to dust, sun, and wind, like Boston Terriers. Be sure to keep your dog well groomed.

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Who can resist lovable "wiener dogs"? Long-haired, wire-haired, or smooth, these playful pups usually live 12 to 14 years. In the Middle Ages, Germans used dachshunds to hunt. Their long, low bodies were perfect for ducking into badger dens. Protect that long back from problems: Keep your dachshund lean, and don’t let them jump off high furniture.

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Beagles are curious, smart, and guaranteed to keep you entertained. This lovable, vocal breed lives about 12 to 14 years. With their great sense of smell, they love to eat, so be careful not to overfeed your beagle. Extra pounds can shorten any dog’s life.

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Shetland Sheepdog
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Shetland Sheepdog

Farmers raised these dogs to herd animals on the Shetland Islands near Scotland. Because of their small size, they ate less and lived longer than other dogs. Today’s Shelties usually live 12 to 14 years. This breed is more prone to eye issues such as collie eye, an inherited disease that may lead to blindness, and Von Willebrand's, a blood clotting disorder that also affects humans.

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labrador retriever
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Labrador Retriever

Labs are the most popular breed in America. Fortunately, they’re also one larger-sized breed that lives a long time -- on average, 10 to 12 years. Energetic Labs love to play, so they’re likely to keep you young, too! Like other large dogs, they’re prone to hip problems, which can be painful. So be mindful of your dog's back end as they age. Extra weight can make problems worse, so keep your dog slim.

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The Chihuahua, the smallest recognized breed, traces its roots back to the 9th century. Their ancestors were beloved by people of Central America. The mighty mites live as long as 14 to 18 years. Bred in warm climates, Chihuahuas don’t do well in the cold. Given their small size, they may not be the right breed for young, active kids.

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With their big eyes and flat snouts, pugs have the funniest faces. They live on average 12 to 15 years, so be ready for a long-term relationship. Pugs don’t do well in heat, and they’re big shedders. Also, these eager eaters can get fat if you’re not careful. Remember that extra weight can make health problems worse. They may be high maintenance, but pug fans love this loyal breed, snorts and all.

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Mixed breeds

Mixed-breed dogs live an average of 14 years. Overall, purebreds live an average of nearly 10 years. The difference may be because dogs bred to meet standards sometimes pass along problems in their genes, too. It’s hard to predict how long a mixed-breed dog will live, but your mutt is certain to be one-of-a-kind and probably a lot less expensive!

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Sources | Medically Reviewed on 03/05/2020 Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM on March 05, 2020


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News release, Inside Science.

Kraus, C. The American Naturalist, April 2013.

PetCareRX: “Lifespan of a Dog: A Dog Years Chart by Breed.”

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AllPoodleInfo.com: “Poodle Life Expectancy: Toy, Miniature, Standard.”

Fleming, J. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, March/April 2011.

American Kennel Club. The Complete Dog Book, 20th Edition, 2006.

Dog Breed Info Center: "Maltese."

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Boston Terrier Club of America: “About Boston Terriers,” "Boston Terrier Eyes."

Continental Kennel Club: “Shih Tzu.”

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Central Illinois Sheltie Rescue: “Bad Breath.”

For Dummies: “Common Health Problems in Labrador Retrievers/Hip dysplasia."

Pug Rescue and Adoption, Victoria: “Is a Pug for You?”

Asher, L. The Veterinary Journal, December 2009.

Bideawee: “Do mixed breed dogs have any advantages over purebreds?”

Cassidy, K. “Dog Longevity.”



Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM on March 05, 2020

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE VETERINARY ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your pet’s health. Never ignore professional veterinary advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think your pet may have a veterinary emergency, immediately call your veterinarian.